Five airmen have been selected to represent the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield as Airmen of the Year in their rank respective categories. The winners went on to compete at the 2017 Ohio Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year (OAY) awards banquet to honor the nominees from units across the state, Jan. 6 at the Courtyard Marriott, where one member of the 179 AW was selected to represent the State of Ohio at the National Guard Bureau level competition against all Guardsmen from all states and territories for the Outstanding Airman of the Year Program.
Each year, the most outstanding performers are recognized throughout the United States Air Force and Air National Guard for demonstrating superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.
The road to the national level starts with airmen nominated by their squadron and group level leadership to compete at the wing level for Airman of the Year of the 179 AW.
“There is a selection board for each rank tier and category, and their decision process is an incredibly difficult task sorting such highly competitive applicants,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dana Togliatti, who sat on the selection board this year.
The winners of the 2017 179th Airlift Wing Airman of the Year (pictured above, left to right):
“The 179th Airlift Wing has no shortage of outstanding airmen. Each year the difficulty lies most in deciding who has stood out the most among such an incredible group of peers.” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Dyer, Command Chief of the 179th Airlift Wing, “Each nominated airman has brought great pride to their unit for being nominated at their squadron, group and wing levels.”
These five winners at the wing level compete against 11 units across the state of Ohio, which has four wings that have F-16 fighter jets, KC-135 refueling aircraft and C-130 cargo planes. The winning Airmen will compete at the national level against winners from all 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia, with the potential to earn the title of Outstanding Airman of the Year for the entire Air National Guard.
“The impact of winning Airman of the Year at the state level is enormous for their career,” Dyer added, “Ohio has some of the best airmen in the country and the differences in the board votes were very close, literally points from each other.”
From the 179 AW, Shell was selected to represent Ohio at the National Guard Bureau competition against all Guardsmen from all states and territories. Thereafter, the winners will compete against candidates selected from active Air Force major commands to represent the entire Air Force.
Dyer said that he recalls two national level winners from the 179 AW and one from the 200th Red Horse Squadron in his time at the wing and hopes to see another, “The 179 AW is very well represented and we wish Senior Master Sgt. Shell the best of luck competing at the next level!”
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Source: 179th Airlift Wing/Sargeant Joseph Harwood